“They welcomed me with open arms!” | Allentown Rescue Mission

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“They welcomed me with open arms!”

Paul was attending an AA meeting when he learned about the Mission. “I had a history of drinking,” he says. “And alcoholism wasn’t paying the rent.” Paul lived on the streets of

Allentown for nearly two weeks before he decided he needed to change his life.

That was in 2011. His first stop was our Gateway Center emergency shelter. From there, he enrolled in our Christian Living Program and graduated!

For a time, Paul did well. He maintained his sobriety, found work and was living on his own in an apartment. But then his hours got cut back, and finally, he lost his job. With no income, Paul became homeless again.

His first stop was the Gateway Center. Because he’d graduated from our Christian Living Program and had stayed sober, he was now eligible for New Creations, a transitional program that provides support and counseling for men working their way back into the community.

While he looks for another full-time job, Paul works on the Mission’s Clean Team during the day and attends an array of Bible studies and recovery support programs in the evenings. Paul plans to continue with these evening classes even when he finds steady work and is living on his own again.

Paul sees the Mission and its programs as a vital part of the community. “There are so many ways people can become homeless,” he says. “Addiction, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one. The Mission doesn’t turn anyone away. They welcome you with open arms…even when you need to come back!”

To read the rest of the issue of Tidings, click here.